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Motorola Milestone: Isn’t it pretty?

We’ve got our grubby little mitts on the much-anticipated Motorola Milestone and it’s safe to say we’re pretty much in love. It’s everything we ever hoped it would be and more – from the satisfying clunk as the keyboard slides into place to the smart bronze detailing, not to mention what a joy it is to use… we’re going to have trouble parting ways with it.

The massive 3.7-inch touchscreen provides more than room for the Android OS to do its thing; with multiple home screens there’s plenty of space for all your favourite apps and contacts to sit side-by-side, and the web-browsing experience was possibly the best we’ve seen to date.

We’ll be putting the handset through its paces very soon in a full review, but check out our photo gallery for a sneaky preview.

Modestly packaged in a traditional cardboard box, the Milestone forgoes the flashier packaging we’ve seen from some of the more mainstream phones. This is a serious phone, the box says, for serious people who do not compromise. Except on the name of the handset.

The Milestone doesn’t come packaged with too much extra fluff, just the essentials: phone, wall plug, USB cable, headphones, instructions, software. Job done. Catbus not included, as far as we know.

Although the handset packs an impressive wingspan (around 9cm wide when open), it’s actually quite light.

The power button doubles as the key/screen lock button, while the standard 3.5mm headphone jack will be a welcome addition for music fans, meaning you can use your own high quality headphones rather than being constrained to the ones provided.

The rather elegant bronze camera button is slightly raised so it’s easy to find on the slim side of the handset.

The handset chargers via microUSB, so you can plug it straight into your computer or use the wall plug provided.

The rubbery material used for the back means you can get a good grip and lessens the risk of the Milestone slipping out of your hands. The elegant bronze speaker panel went down well with us here at Recombu; shiny things usually do.

We’re greeted by a nice crisp, Batman-esque Motorola logo as the Milestone boots up.

This is the SIM-less lock screen; contrary to appearances, we’re not in 1970. Don’t worry, we checked. We particularly liked the nostalgic unlock mechanism – you swipe the green padlock button round to the right, just like a traditional rotary-dial telephone.

The home screen doesn’t look too exciting at the moment as we haven’t customised it at all. As with all Android phones, you can place your favourite apps and contacts here, spilling over onto the multiple home screens if desired. The Google search bar at the top incorporates voice search as well.

All your traditional apps and tools are kept in the menu screen, which you can simply slide up using the grey tab on the home screen.

Of course we couldn’t resist checking out recombu.com at the first available opportunity. The pleasingly large screen was great for web browsing without getting frustrated at having to constantly zoom and pan across the site.

If you don’t fancy using the slide-out Qwerty keyboard, you can always use the onscreen one with the phone in the upright position. Be warned though, those letter keys are very close together.

The 5MP camera has a flash and autofocus built-in and you can switch between taking still shots and video at just the flick of a finger.

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